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bess prescott

Prāṇā follows awareness

asana awareness prana siva sivaratri yoga Apr 04, 2023

It's my birthday today (this is Bess writing) and I'm thinking about depth, and intentionality. It was Maha Śivaratri last night, the great night to worship Śiva - who is (among many things) the original yogi, the great meditator, pure consciousness. He is the opposite of superficiality. Modern life does everything to distract our focus, to keep us skittering on the surface of things, to direct our gaze outwards. To go deep into anything (a yoga practice, a relationship, a topic, yourself) requires time, patience, effort, concentration - and an absence of fear. Qualities that the world makes us think are in short supply. One of the wonderful things about a dedicated āsana, prāṇāyama or meditation practice is that nothing comes quickly: whether we like it or not, making our way to that pose / technique / stillness of mind takes time. Our practice gently but firmly teaches us patience, sustained effort, and focus. We become more courageous. Qualities which we can then apply to the areas of our life where we desire depth, and growth.

Prāṇā follows awareness: whatever you focus on will gain strength. Yoga trains us towards single-pointed awareness, and the discernment to choose well where we place that awareness. Can I use my awareness with intention, to worship the qualities that I want to develop in myself? Am I expecting a relationship or a practice or a garden to develop without my whole-hearted care?

Notice throughout your day what you are "worshipping" with your attention. Your phone? Your anxiety? Your community? The ocean? The light-filled temple at the altar of your heart? The stillness and single-mindedness of Śiva? Choose wisely, and with exquisite love. 

Om namaḥ śivāya.


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